Thursday, June 30, 2005

The GlassFish Project

Java developers rejoice! Yet Another Open Source J2EE Server!

The future of J2EE's prospects and viability lies in open source. With Sun's latest move, J2EE's future is getting brighter than ever. The days of the proprietary J2EE are numbered! WebLogic and WebSphere will be dead! Long live Open Source!

Not so long ago that J2EE development revolved around the proprietary technologies by two J2EE giants; IBM and BEA. That was yesterday. Today, the open source community rejoices for another J2EE server joins its ranks.

Sun recently announced that it is moving its Sun Java System Application Server, a.k.a. the GlassFish project, from the Java Research License (JRL) to the more open-source friendly Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL).

No matter what Sun does to stay on the helm of Java, the company has to acknowledge that its control of J2EE in the end will be lost to a miriad of smaller players. to the open source community. Forget about CDDL vs GPL crap. What's important is you can now play with SJAS. Java plus Free and Open Source, what else can you ask for?

So far, the major players in the open source J2EE business are: the Apache Foundation's Geronimo, JBoss' JBoss Application Server, and the ObjectWeb Consortium's JOnAS. Now, include SJAS.

Stay tuned to the latest developments...

Goodbye JDS!

Sun is backing off from an effort to sell Linux for desktop computers. JDS will continue to exist as a product, but now only for Solaris OS. Unlike before, where JDS was touted as the alternative desktop (with mediocre fanfare) for every user, now, only programmers are targetted for its use.

Sun's flip-flops is no surprise at all. Three years ago, Sun launched the JDS project. JDS was a combination of a server and workstation cost-effective alternative to MS Windoze. The product quickly lost momentum. How would you compete with the likes of SuSe, Red Hat, Debian and Fedora?

So, this is the beginning of the end of JDS for Linux. Good riddance. JDS for Linux was a crap. It is no better than a re-badged SuSe. It is on the same yucky stuff like Linspire and Xandros.

I firmly believe that Linux will be very succesfull on servers, but only a handful of techies will be able to use it in desktop space for a long time. 'Guess this is why Sun is backing off.

One scheming story in my mind is that Sun might be afraid to challenge its newfound friend, the giant Microsoft. Tsk tsk tsk, it is very obvious indeed.

For me, Fedora, the best-loved by techies Linux distro, is the king of hill.

Sun Laptop Delight

Surprise, surprise! Damn, I am really surprised! I never thought that an enterprise platform provider like Sun will be entering the mobile workstation market (layman: laptop). Sun has recently unveiled its first mobile computer, the Sun Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation. The machine's CPU will be, of course the default, Sun's Sparc microprocessor.

The Sun Ultra 3 Mobile Workstations promises to deliver the same performance as its server-bound, blade-based siblings in a laptop form factor. With the Solaris 10 OS (ehem, OpenSolaris) and a range of 64-Bit UltraSPARC processors, graphics options, 802.11b wireless networking, 15-and 17in. SXGA+ TFT LCD displays, Integrated Gigabit (10/100/1000Base-T) Ethernet, the Sun Ultra 3 Mobile Workstations should deliver workstation class performance anywhere a you might go. This laptop on steriods is offered with either a 550MHz or 650MHz UltraSPARC IIi processor or 1.28GHz UltraSPARC IIIi processor and can take up to 2GB of RAM.

Sun Java Desktop System also comes pre-installed, along with StarOffice 7.0 or GNOME 2.0 Environment.

This is the laptop that I wish I have. Only if these parameters are met:
1. Lower SPARC CPU price, hence, lower laptop price
2. Normal Linux/BSD binaries to run seamlessly and transparently on the SPARC/Solaris platform
3. A gamut of software suites. Those that you can typically find in a WinTel machine.

Probably, this laptop will just be for sysads only.

For me, I'll stick with my trusty IBM X23 loaded with Fedora Core 3 and, unfortunately, Windows XP Professional till my HDD crashes on me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Play With My FreeSBIE

A nice-to-try come true!

I have always wanted to try out FreeBSD without dropping my existing setup of dual-booting WindozeXP and FC3. I have heard so much of BSD that I really want to try true-blue Unix in my box. OpenSolaris maybe? Nope, OpenSolaris is still a no-go for me. Wait for Mac OSXi? Too long... My solution: FreeSBIE!

FreeSBIE allows me to take a look at FreeBSD without having to actually install it in my HDD. It is like Knoppix (Linux). Developed by Gruppo Utentia FreeBSD Italia, it is a live CD based on the FreeBSD operating system.

The current version 1.1 is based on FreeBSD version 5.3.

All 610MB of FreeSBIE 1.1 ISO can be downloaded from an FTP mirror or via BitTorrent. Currently two platforms are supported: AMD64 and i386. 2 thumbs up for this!

Eclipse 3.1

Eclipse 3.1 is Out!

It has been a while since fanatics waited (since June 25, 2004) for the next version of their beloved Eclipse IDE. What's new and noteworthy about this new release is that many woes and supposed-to-have from Eclipse 3.0 has been resolved.

Some of this blog's text are excerpts from

Significant Performance Enhancements - thank goodness!

Support for bi-directional text - naah! I would not have any use for this. My stand is that since Java language is an English derivative, text and text orientation should be inherently english too.

Improved preferences and properties support - nice goodies!

Editor lookup based on content type - not so usable to me since I have been a VI baby...

Importing multiple projects - not so usable to me either...

Line delimiter support - not so usable to me either since I only work with Linux/Unix

Single JAR plug-ins - aha! nice way to remove unwanted plugins!

New JDT Goodies - these will certainly improve my productivity ten-folds
* New Javadoc compiler settings
* Serial Version UID
* Early detection of references to internal classes
* Access rules on libraries and projects
* Mark occurrences of inherited methods
* Highlighting of deprecated class members in the Java editor
* References in Javadoc
* Improved Java properties file editor
* Working with externalized strings
* Externalize Strings wizard supports new message bundles
* New Open Type dialog

Full support for J2SE 5.0 - and yes!!! The Tiger Roars!!!!

Eclipse 3.1 includes full support for the new features of J2SE 5.0. This support is both pervasive and powerful -- everything that you expect to work with J2SE 1.4, including editing, code assist, compiling, debugging, quick fixes, refactorings, source actions, searching, etc. will work seamlessly with (and has been extended to support the new capabilities of) J2SE 5.0's new types and syntax.

Here are some examples:

* Quick Fix to update JRE and compiler compliance to 5.0
* New Type wizards support generics
* Enumeration and Annotation wizards
* Semantic coloring of J2SE 5.0 constructs in Java editors
* Rename refactorings handle renaming of type parameters
* Infer Generic Type Arguments refactoring
* Quick fixes for Generics
* Search result filters for reference search for parameterized types
* Code completion for annotations
* @SuppressWarnings annotation support
* optional diagnoses for issues such as incomplete enum switches and boxing/unboxing conversions
* Quick Fix to create enum constants
* Autoboxing parameter proposals
* Quick Assist to convert for-loops over arrays and collections to J2SE 5.0 enhanced for-loops
* Support for

Eclipse 3.1 release is now available for download from the downloads page. Go get it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Open The Sun

Currently there are two competing flavors OpenSolaris distros: Sun Microsystems' Solaris Express Community Release, and German developer Joerg Schilling's SchilliX.

Like mainstream Linux vendors like Red Hat, Suse and Mandriva, Sun's version of OpenSolaris has extra proprietary code to build a complete operating system. SchilliX is completely based on open source software, ala Debian GNU/Linux.

If you would ask me what should I take, I am not sure for the time being. OpenSolaris is still in its infancy. Sun's Distro is definitely full-packed. It even contains JDS for Solaris. SchilliX is more of Slackware today than Debian.

Ask me again which shall I take... If I would choose what "Unix" box will I install at my home machine, it will be... FreeBSD!!!! hahahaha!

All Play No Work

I envy those guys that who are employees of either Google, Apache Foundation or OSDL (Open Source Development Lab). Those guys does not know what work means. All they do 24x7 is to play, play and yet another round of playing. Why I chose these organizations as dream employers: Google, this company pays ridiculously high, with many personal benefit and an in-house SPA and massage. Apache Foundation, whoah!, this is open source java all day, all the time. OSDL, another open source org but on the basis of pushing Linux in the limelight. What do these dev-players get? Tons of self satisfaction by getting paid for what they are happy with.

Me.., I work in an SME, closed source environment. Of course, the product is inferior to those of the dream houses that I just mentioned. But hei, I still get to do some java on a Linux rig... Not too bad =)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Optimus Prime is Dead! Long Live Luke!

While I prowl through cyberspace, I never ever put my true name unless it is ok to do so. I used to be known as Optimus Prime. Who is Optimus Prime? Of course, he is the leader of the Autobots! As of today, I am officially retiring my childhood pseudonym. My cyber-alter ego will now be Luke. Not Luke the Jedi! It is Luke, from "Duke", the Java mascot, minus D plus L.

Follow the force...
-Luke :)

Cardiac Delight ala Java

I know I am going to suffer a backlash from health afficionados and vegetarian denizens for what I am going to say.

Eat high-caloric food!!! Yeah right! Why?

Because.... For us I.T. citizens, more nutrient has to be ingested. Not just nutrients but also some fat. Why fat? Where else would you get your carbonic oxydation-powered energy if not for the fat and carbos. Well kids, do not do this unless you are really heckled to work by the empire (company) till wee hours in the morning. Failure to eat these kind of food will sap your energy, and hence, your will to program and debug the night out.

So enjoy the kway chap meals and yang chow fried rice...

Another programming tip from Luke.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

El Estupido

Saw this button message from a smelly cab. Funny but true... I can immediately relate. Here's the message:

"I don't know what makes you so stupid, but it really works!"

Sometimes, you hust have to turn a blind eye to people who has a lower neural activity than you are. Hey, nobody's created equal.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Leader of the Band

Being a team lead, moreso, a de-facto senior among team leads, or a fascade-to-the-manager is really a good thing but will cause your hair to lose some melanocites and skin to lose some keratin. One thing I have experienced as The Framework Team Leader is that all blame, praise, problems, and further requirements fall into me. All errors, without even blinking an eye, will point to the Framework. Why? Spoonfed developers does not know how to stand by themselves anymore. Somehow, their methodologies seem so sluggish, disorganized and ineffective. Can't blame these people. They are definitely not me. They are definitely not like the few people I know I can trust and depend when the CRUNCH comes along.

As the team lead, I get to represent a bunch of people. As the team lead, all my member's errors are my personal errors. As the team lead, all my team's success are theirs. Like a weary soldier or a faithful priest, I am just here to serve.

Though I am letting out my angst against my fellow developers, I am not making a sweeping statement. There are still good things in this world. For that matter, there are still good developers. Responsible developers. Responsible team leads. Still some people to rely to.

*Hufff* It is really tiring. When can I ever have my genuine rest and recreation...? Perhaps, soon, perhaps, later.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Question Matrix

AQ = Asks Questions
DNAQ = Does Not Ask Questions

KA = Knows The Answers
NDKA = Does Not Know The Answer
AQ + KA = Obviously a display of bravado!
DNAQ + KA = Yes, just listen to the discussion.

AQ + NDKA = Yes, you need to ask.
DNAQ + NDKA = At lost... poor guy.


Stumbled on some site or some mailing list or some forum or some other's blog before. Can't remember where. Anyways, John's insights follows the same as mine. When designing and developing applications, always think of TOE. Technology, Organization and Environment Concept.

Develop the application not only based on technology but also on:

1. Organization: what is the target user? Is standardization an important thing? Do they prefer closed source or open source approach? etc...

2. Environment: do you have good human resource (developers) with you? How fast do you need to get your solution up and running? Do you have the proper tools and hardware for the job? etc...

Thanks to John Doe for the insights...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My One Cent Java Framework

I have been itching my hands to design and develop a new java application framework from scratch similar to the likes of SpringFramework or to my company's proprietary FW. The only ingredient left is time. I have scribbled a high-level view. This might evolve as I go along. Only, if I have time...

I'll try to be as minimal as possible. The main influence in the design is a Unix Micro Kernel. In this, all components are essentially independent. Communication between the components, rather than through IPC, will be through common interfaces.

My guiding rules are the Unix development rules (otherwise known as Keep It Simple Stupid paradigm):
1. Develop small programs that work
2. Then, develop programs that binds the smaller programs
3. Last, develop the user interface

I'll probably start off with the configuration framework, then persistence, then the basic dispatcher... wish me luck.

Design Principle

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe.
-- Abraham Lincoln

If I had eight mandays to deliver a project, I'd spend 3 designing, 2 developing, 2 testing, the remaining day for rest.
-- Richard =)

Hip Hopping

Today, for the very first time in my career, I am considering resignation. Damn right, you're reading it correctly. RESIGNATION. What can I do? My priority is my family. But personal reasons aside, I think I am no longer growing technically here in acceso de sistema. Oh how I long the days when I was still learning bits and pieces of the Java world. I can proudly say I am an expert now. But no matter what I'll do, I will not have the opportunity to do what I like, to design what I think is correct, to implement it and to lead my own techie team undisturbed and unmolested. Perhaps switching to an upstart would be good (so I can be king, hahahaha)? Perhaps to giant MNCs like Oracle, Sun or HP. Nah! I ain't considering the big BLUE.

Again, we'll see.

If only I am damn rich, I would start my own company, buy some state-of-art rigs, stuff them with Linux and Java goodies and code my day to my heart's delight. And that will come true in the future, I promise you that.

....and the journey begins....

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Frustration Over Java Source

Don't get me wrong. I am a Java fanatic. I am just fuming mad on a source code I am debugging. Well, let me summarize this bloody mess:

1. It is spaghetti code
2. It is unformatted
3. Variable names are crazy
4. Very disorganized, reminds me of the old BASIC days
5. Very inefficient
6. Not unit tested
7. Not object oriented
8. Not well designed
9. Not initially created by me.
10. Worst of all, I cannot do much on it as it is well entrenched into a similarly outdated pseudo-J2EE framework.


My Linux Box

Getting very excited in replacing my Linux WS in my office. My trusty box is Fedora Core 3. I might want to consider SuSe 9.3 or Ubuntu, but the thought of FC4 is really enticing... Can't wait to go home and download FC4 and try it for a test run before I say goodbye to my ever reliable FC3.

Here's a screenshot of the doomed FC3...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Java User Group

Just created a new group today. Our very own Singapore Filipino Java User Group (FILJUG-SG). There is a low turnout of member applicants for today though. People might be very busy. Succesfully registered the group at Hope this group becomes successfull. Anyways, here's the group site pinoyJavaDotSG. This group is an offshoot of the bigger and more popular pinoyITdotSG group. Just like the covetted Sun Microsystems recognition, we're gunning for the Philippine Embassy recognition too.

One question lurks in my mind... is it right to open my ideas for OSS projects in this group? Or shall I keep in my trusty computer's HDD and eat up all the codes by myself... we'll soon see.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Office Stress

Still sitting here at the office wondering whether all IT organization works the same way. This is worse than any bad vice. IT work does make you older at a faster rate than a cat says meow. But don't get me wrong. IT is definitely me, it's my chosen career, it is my hobby. Hohummm.... Damn! I don't even have time to work on my dream projects, that is, pro-bono OSS Java pet projects. Oh well, time to dig in to this well-entrenched, messed-up, somebody-else-did-it program again....